KBK attorneys have litigated complex copyright, trademark, trade secret, idea submission, licensing, distribution, right of publicity, and defamation disputes involving all types of media and entertainment companies. Our team has successfully represented a roster of entertainment and media leaders, including Creative Artists Agency (CAA), NBCUniversal, Paramount, Viacom, legendary composer Hans Zimmer, and many more. Examples of representative matters include:

  • Representing CAA in a major lawsuit filed by Writers Guild of America (WGA) and eight individual writers, alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, and violations of the Unfair Competition Law related to the use of agency packaging fees and the corresponding lawsuit filed by CAA against the WGA for antitrust violations.
  • Secured a dismissal, a public apology, and monetary compensation for legendary composer Hans Zimmer and several companies in a copyright infringement claim concerning the musical score for the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years A Slave.
  • Obtained summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal, for the estate of Robert Philpott, who was sued by the ex-wife of Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order TV franchise, based on allegations he negotiated a divorce settlement that denied her franchise-related revenue.
  • Won summary judgment for Paramount Pictures Corporation in a $40 million lawsuit filed by Middle Pictures, Inc. (MPI) over the distribution of the film Middle Men.
  • Secured settlements and a verdict in favor of clients Regency Entertainment Inc. and Monarchy Enterprises S.A.R.L. in an $18 million breach of contract lawsuit they filed against a group of film financiers who failed to fulfill their promise to repay certain expenses for Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply box-office flop.
  • Won dismissal of a copyright lawsuit filed against Viacom and Viacom Media Networks, as well as the production company and producers, over the hit VH1 television show Love & Hip Hop.
  • Secured a $14.9 million judgment, which was upheld on appeal, for Viacom International, Inc. in a well-publicized lawsuit filed against toymaker MGA Entertainment, Inc. for breach of contract.
  • Obtained a favorable bench trial ruling and appellate rulings for the heirs of the creator of Hawaii Five-O in a rights dispute with the creator’s former talent agent.
  • Obtained summary judgment for the band Smashing Pumpkins in an action alleging copyright infringement and state law claims relating to production of a music video.
  • Represented the band No Doubt in its suit against Activision Publishing, Inc. over the use of its likeness in a video game.
  • Represented musician Jack White and the White Stripes in a copyright litigation against a music producer seeking ownership of copyright interest in The White Stripes’ songs.
  • Secured summary judgment in favor of Viacom International Inc. and Nickelodeon Animation Studios in a copyright infringement action regarding elements from two issues of the plaintiff’s late 1990’s comic book in connection with the development and distribution of the animated pre-school show Rusty Rivets.
  • Successfully represented Viacom and Viacom Media Networks in a copyright infringement lawsuit involving the hit TV children’s show PAW Patrol.
  • Defended BET in a putative class action alleging copyright violations involving synchronization rights.
  • Represented Nickelodeon cable television network in idea submission action related to the television program True Jackson, V.P. and in trademark and trade dress infringement action related to the children’s television program The Fresh Beat Band.
  • Defended MTV Networks in copyright infringement action related to O.J. Simpson’s Juiced reality television project.
  • Successfully defended Warner Communications, Inc. against a company holding certain rights to Tom Waits’ music.
  • Represented Electronic Arts in copyright action related to “The Sims” video game franchise and in trademark infringement actions related to “EA SPORTS Active” and “Mirror’s Edge” video games.
  • Represented multiple defendants – a TV production company, broadcast network, and producers – in a copyright infringement action involving a hit reality TV series. Obtained summary judgment, after discovery, in favor of the clients on the copyright infringement claim.
  • Represented a radio production company in litigation relating to a challenge to a Top 10 song countdown format.
  • Defended TV networks in a class action suit brought by composers and music recording companies. The plaintiffs alleged that KBK’s clients had committed copyright infringement resulting from the use of music in TV programming.
  • Resolved litigations between TV networks over reality-TV formats.
  • Advised and counseled clients on the use and infringement of trademarks related to numerous entertainment properties and brand-name retail goods.
  • Filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Viacom v. YouTube case on behalf of a group of legal and economic scholars from multiple universities including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia in a Digital Millennium Copyright Case.
  • Filed an amicus brief on behalf of Google, Yahoo!, and AltaVista in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a fair use doctrine case.
  • Representing a prominent talent agency in a $55 million lawsuit brought by producers and film financiers of motion picture projects alleging misrepresentations, fraud, and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a Screen Media Ventures subsidiary establishing its right to receive monies under a distribution agreement.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a broadcast network in a case alleging it failed to pay royalties to composers of background music.
  • Represented Screen Media Ventures in litigation with Universal Studios Home Entertainment concerning the parties’ former distribution relationship.
  • Representing CBS Broadcasting in an ongoing arbitration with actor Chuck Norris’ production company, Top Kick, over a $30 million breach of contract dispute in which Top Kick is seeking additional compensation for streaming and other potentially lucrative uses of Norris’ image and his popular TV show, Texas Ranger.
  • Representing European Film Bonds and group of German insurance and reinsurance companies (including Allianz) in a case brought by the producers of the film, Starbright, and sales agent, in dispute over terms and conditions of a completion guarantee after taking over completion of the film from the producers.
  • Represented Paramount Licensing Inc. in a $10 million+ breach of contract case brought against a former licensing partner in connection with the development of Paramount hotels and theme parks throughout the world.
  • Representing the Estate of Walter Becker, co-founder of the rock band, Steely Dan, regarding the rights of the members of the group.
  • Secured a Court of Appeal ruling affirming a prevailing party fee award for Olympic Champion Volleyball Player Kerri Walsh Jennings. The Court held that Ms. Walsh Jennings was entitled not only to her fees in the trial court but also on appeal in a breach of contract case.
  • Secured a favorable settlement for an international celebrity in a dispute with a former business manager who had sued over her dismissal.
  • Representing an overseas film investor in an arbitration over the losses it incurred in its investment in an Oscar-nominated film.
  • Secured a favorable settlement in a confidential arbitration brought against a studio for failure to make payments owed pursuant to a contract related to a highly successful television show.
  • Secured complete defense verdict for major film studios in a confidential arbitration brought by a world-famous stand-up comedian over payments allegedly owed under an agreement.
  • Achieved a pre-trial settlement for several leading entertainment studios in a multi-billion-dollar dispute concerning licensing and distribution of pay television services in Australia.
  • Represented Paramount Home Entertainment in a dispute with Rank DMS in an alleged breach of a “most favored nations” provision in connection with distribution services for home entertainment products.
  • Resolved on behalf of a media company a distribution fee audit and dispute concerning its fantasy titles.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a broadcast network that had allegedly failed to pay royalties made by composers of background music. Claims involved the release of an episodic TV series from the 1950s to 1970s on videocassette and DVD, and the royalties for the synchronization licenses of the compositions.
  • Currently representing NBCUniversal in a significant dispute related to the sale and distribution of a slate of films now owned by a hedge fund.
  • Currently representing the owner of rights to an iconic comic book character in a confidential arbitration proceeding brought by a film production company alleging breach of an agreement for the option to purchase the rights to produce a major motion picture.
  • Represented the estate of world-renowned singer and songwriter Jenni Rivera in $10 million litigation over her former business manager’s breaches of his non-disclosure agreement by collaborating to produce an unauthorized television series exploiting the private details of Ms. Rivera’s life that was eventually aired on Univision.
  • Successfully defended a television network against claims of invasion of privacy arising from television programming.
  • Defended an environmental activist website against claims that a photograph of a celebrity’s personal residence infringed her privacy rights and misappropriated her publicity rights.
  • Represented Showtime pay television service in an action alleging Lanham Act and right of publicity violations in connection with the misattribution of a motion picture.
  • Represented MTV Networks in an action alleging statutory and common law misappropriation of likeness in connection with reality television program Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory.
  • Represented a world-famous athlete in libel and slander action related to an article in In Touch Weekly magazine.
  • Represented Viacom Inc. and Viacom Media Networks in an action involving numerous tort claims, including misappropriation of likeness and defamation, arising out of the production and broadcast of a reality TV program.
  • Retained by video-game manufacturers and developers to handle litigation over the rights to use likenesses and images.
  • Successfully represented Outfront Media in defeating a competitor’s challenge to a major public transit contract.
  • Reached a mutually beneficial resolution in litigation concerning allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets for an online content network in its claims against a competitor after taking over the matter from another firm weeks before trial.
  • Represented a registered investment company in a trade secret misappropriation and business tort dispute.
  • Defended digital media startup against claims that the owner had misappropriated assets from a prior company.
  • Represented a major digital media company in a trade secret misappropriation action against a competing company and its principals.